10 highlights on Viet Nam's membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020 – 2021 term 


During its tenure at the United Nations Security Council, Viet Nam: 

1. Fully embraced a multilateral approach, safeguarding and upholding international law and the UN Charter. During the first Presidency of the UNSC in January 2020, Viet Nam convened a High-level Open Debate on "Upholding the UN Charter" and presided over the adoption of the first-ever standalone Presidential Statement on this theme. Such efforts underscored the long-standing values and major principles guiding synergized actions between the UNSC, the UN, and the international community. A record number of 111 speakers representing member states and international organizations participated and made statements at this open debate. This demonstrates that Viet Nam's interests also reflect and align with the common interests of the international community. 


2. Promoted the search for sustainable and comprehensive solutions to conflicts. This ranges from preventing the outbreak, to addressing the root causes, and dealing with aftermaths of conflicts on the basis of respect for national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in internal affairs of states, and peaceful resolution of disputes. These endeavors always take into account the legitimate interests of all parties concerned, and the need for strengthening humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians, and promoting dialogue and negotiation, for peace and long-term development of all nations. 


3. Strengthened humanitarian action and the protection of civilians in armed conflicts with concrete and tangible initiatives. Viet Nam took the lead on Resolution 2573 - the first UNSC Resolution on the protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population in conflict areas. It unequivocally identifies attacks against schools, hospitals, and water and energy infrastructures as violations of international humanitarian law. As one of the few resolutions co-sponsored by all 15 UNSC members, Resolution 2573 showed a high level of consensus by the Council on this matter. 


4. Highlighted and drew the attention of the UNSC and the international community to the long-term consequences of wars and conflicts on the lives of ordinary people and the security and development of all nations, including the issue of explosive remnants of war (ERW). Under Viet Nam's Presidency of the Council in April 2021, and at Viet Nam's initiative, the Council adopted a Presidential Statement stressing the need for further international cooperation to address the long-term dire consequences of ERW that infringe upon the safety and sustainable livelihoods peoples and communities.


5. Acted as a bridge-builder and strengthened meaningful cooperation between the UN, the UNSC with regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security. Notable efforts include the first ever UNSC briefing on cooperation between the UN and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the promotion of ASEAN's centrality and presence at the UNSC in addressing regional issues, including the situation in Myanmar.


6. Championed advocacy and actions to support vulnerable groups, particularly women and children. Viet Nam organized l the International Conference on Women, Peace and Security which adopted its outcome document "the Hanoi Commitment to Action" (in December 2020), convened the Open Debate on sexual violence in conflict against women and girls (in April 2021), and hosted the first UNSC Arria-Formula Meeting on Addressing Challenges of Children without Parental Care in Conflict Situations (in December 2021). 



 7. Actively enhanced joint efforts in addressing critical global challenges posed to the international community, such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and maritime security. Particular focus was given to climate security, with Viet Nam making active contributions to the Like-Minded Group on Climate Security at the UNSC (LMG) and the Informal Expert Group (IEG) of Members of the Security Council on Climate and Security. 


8. Sought a balanced, transparent and responsible approach in its work at the UNSC, with a view to narrowing differences and promoting dialogue and cooperation. This was highlighted during Viet Nam's Presidency of the Council (in January 2020 and April 2021), and as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan. Viet Nam also served as the Chair of the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals and took the lead in drafting Resolution 2529 on renewing the mandate of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals Prosecutor.


 9. Promoted the voice and role of non-permanent members of the UNSC, who represent all UN members. A notable highlight was Viet Nam's efforts to convening of the annual meeting (in November 2020, in collaboration with Norway and South Africa) between the ten non-permanent members of the UNSC and the five newly elected members of the UNSC for the term 2021 - 2022 to exchange information and enhance coordination. 


10. Made substantial contributions to the common work of the UN in its capacity as a non-permanent member of the UNSC. Such efforts include deploying troops to UN peacekeeping missions, introducing the Resolutions on UN-ASEAN cooperation and on the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, and initiating the establishment of the Group of Friends of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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